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Trump's Real Objective During His Debate With Biden Isn't Just About Defeating Biden

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On Monday, I wrote that while former President Donald Trump will be facing off against President Joe Biden during the upcoming debate, Biden will hardly be his primary opponent. Biden will be competing against Biden up on that stage, hoping that whatever chemicals flowing through his veins and practice he's gotten will carry him through to the end. 

Trump, on the other hand, will be facing down two opponents. Biden and the media that is constantly protecting him. Biden won't be nearly as big of a threat to Trump as the media will, as such, Trump's primary opponent will be the moderators in front of him, not the empty suit beside him. 

(VIP - Make No Mistake, Trump Won't Be Debating Biden Even If Biden Is There)

As such, Trump should probably reconsider what a win for him onstage would look like. For sure, he needs to make Biden look like a fool, incompetent, and unfit, but Biden's record speaks for itself. All Trump has to do is point it out. Biden's cognitive erosion will likely do the rest of the job for Trump. 

As Rich Lowry said at National Review about Trump's strategy: 

Trump doesn’t need to tell voters that Joe Biden is old or that Hunter is a drug addict. He doesn’t need to insult or interrupt him. He needs to keep himself under control because the most important message he can send the public is about himself.

Trump’s persona is the biggest reason that he grabbed Republican politics by the throat and hasn’t let go since 2015. It’s also the reason he has been a precarious electoral bet — narrowly winning in 2016, narrowly losing in 2020, and narrowly leading today.

Trump should definitely let his personality shine and remember this isn't a rally stage. His funny insults and burns are only going to get him so far on this stage, and could even work against him. He should remember his first debate against Biden in the 2020 elections if he needs a reference. 

But again, Biden will likely take care of himself. Trump's true opponent is the media, and as such, a big part of his strategy should be defeating them. 

We know that this debate is going to be rigged in favor of Biden from the get-go. One of the moderators will be Jake Tapper, and CNN signalled that any talk of bias before this debate won't be tolerated. Recall that recently, Kasie Hunt shut down Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt for mentioning Tapper's habit of comparing Trump to a famous Austrian dictator. Even if CNN doesn't want people catching wise to the fact that this debate will have moderators so biased against Trump that they think he's just like Hitler, Tapper's abuse of Godwin's Law is out there for everyone to see. 

(FLASHBACK: Compilation of Jake Tapper Comparing Trump to Hitler)

In this case, a victory for Trump is pointing that bias out, and not just when it comes to Tapper. 

Trump should drag the media's war with him on stage when the opportunity presents itself. He should never let it come before his points against Biden, but swipes at the media agenda against him need to be discussed. This includes bringing up the many hoaxes against him, the many falsehoods and lies told about him during and after his presidency, and call out the guilty by name, both the corporate brand and the "journalist" that pushed the hoax or uttered the lie. 

The ultimate goal here is to discredit the media, and he'll definitely have the opportunity to do that. The media will spend a lot of time attempting to discredit him during the debate, and this will likely include the moderators in front of him. 

It also wouldn't hurt for Trump to make it personal for the viewers. He could point out how the media not only lied to the people to protect the Biden administration, but how it even would sometimes blame them for things such as the failing economy or accuse the people of modern social sins for speaking out against illegal immigration. 

This will likely be far more important as the media will still be around even if Biden is defeated, and it will continue being a nuisance to him and the American people long after this debate. 

Trump will need to find a solid balance between defeating Biden and the media at the same time. He won't know how much trouble Biden will actually be until the debate begins and Biden shows just how awake he is at that moment, so Trump will have to make that judgement on the fly. Regardless, a solid takedown of the media during the debate will be a part of how people will ultimately grade Trump's performance. 

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